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TPO & PVC 

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are two types of single-ply membranes utilized in low-slope and flat roofing systems. The two thermoplastic materials demonstrate similar physical characteristics—e.g., high strength, durability, and wind resistance.

Cost

TPO is cheaper than PVC per square foot of material. However, the amount of labor during installation is about equal for both material, if not slightly more intensive for TPO.

Labor 

PVC can be easier to install due to its greater flexibility. Where some TPO installation may require more work dependent on it the seams are glued or welded. 

Industry Standards

Some manufacturer's may not follow the most recent ASTM standards because of there regular updates. The same risk is lower for established materials, such as PVC. 

Membrane Quality 

Whether it's TPO or PVC, it's important to find a contractor who can offer a manufacturer's product with a clear warranty policy. 

Energy Efficiency

TPO and PVC membranes both provide naturally reflective surfaces that reduce UV radiation penetration

Durability

TPO roofs should be more durable because they lack plasticizers. However, many PVC roofs have withstood decades of wear without failure. 


TPO

Insulation Options

  • Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso) – The most used insulation type for roofing applications, Polyiso is more expensive but pays off with a higher R-value rating.
     
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) – With the highest R-value per dollar, EPS is used for roof, wall and floor insulation. EPS can be used for ground contact and does not retain water over time.
     
  •  Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) – Usually defined by the blue, green or pink color, XPS falls in-between Polyiso and EPS in the range of price and performance. XPS is semipermeable with a perm rating of 1.